Clearly my plan is for global domination. My aim is to have half a dozen Sanctum Hotels that we either own or franchise, with one or two more in the UK; half a dozen Embassy nightclubs in key areas around the world; and a couple more Geales restaurants in Dubai or Miami.
I divide my time with difficulty. I don’t tend to sleep a lot and when I do it’s usually on a plane. I partied hard when I was younger which means I don’t have the inclination now.
When you open your first nightclub or restaurant you can only dream of world domination, but when you get to a position where I am now you are able to physically achieve that. It’s tough work, but nothing stands in your way.
Peoples’ tastes have changed; they’re demanding total entertainment now and we are seeing a return of proper clubs where people meet to hang out rather than to pose.
It seems to me that London nightlife has evolved to the point where the client is demanding more for his money. People are tired of spending money to receive no value at all. You need to constantly reinvent the wheel to please them.
There are some great clubs out there that don’t do particularly good food and there are some great restaurants that have to send you home at the end of the night. But if you combine them all you give people total entertainment and affordable glamour, however much they want to spend, and that’s how you add value.
Service is incredibly important when adding value, as is making sure the customers know we appreciate they’re on our premises and spending money. Atmosphere, mood and everything else go a long way to make it happen, and when you deliver food or drinks you must make sure they’re of the best quality.
Some people can’t afford to spend every night in a restaurant or nightclub, while others have the money but can’t afford the time. You’re therefore looking at a much more restricted amount of people out on the street which means you’ve got to be really good at your game to get them in.
The best thing about my job is its variety. Whilst it’s really hard work, travelling around the world is a great thing. I’ve been to 15 countries so far this year and I’ll do another 20 by the time it’s finished. I’ve done a bit of TV in the past and it’s really quite wonderful to be recognised, especially for the ability to open bottles and serve food.
It’s a very glamorous world I live in and let’s face it, it’s better than working at Fords in Dagenham.